“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” C.S. Lewis

17261579How did I get the book? Netgalley, thank you Capstone Young Readers

Genre: Mystery / Paranormal

Synopsis: Make him pay, Bayley. Make him pay.

It’s as if the wooden chest is luring me, urging me to open it – daring me almost. Open me up. Look inside. Come on, just for a second; it won’t hurt.

Celina O’Malley was sixteen years old when she disappeared. Now, almost forty years later, Bayley is sleeping in Celina’s room, wearing her clothes, hearing her voice. What does Celina want? And who will suffer because of it? A ghost story. A love story. A story of revenge.

200words (or less) review: Bayley’s family has moved into an old family home, the house left abandoned for nearly forty years after Celina went missing. The family tragedy isn’t talked about so Bayley doesn’t know a lot about her relative. The wooden chest with Celina’s clothes proves too hard to resist and as Bayley wears them she begins to know things about Celina she couldn’t possibly.

Portraits of Celina wasn’t as haunting a story as I anticipated, the mystery behind Celina’s death is straight forward. The story is more about Celina’s quest for vengeance. Slowly Bayley begins to loose herself in Celina while her own family continues to crumble around her.

I imagined Celina’s hold on Bayley to be darker and more twisted based on the blurb but while the book is intriguing it didn’t cause me any sleepless nights.

Overall I enjoyed the book and I would recommend Portraits of Celina for those who enjoy mysteries with a paranormal twist.

Recommend it?

Yes

Expected publication:
April 1st 2015 by Switch Press

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Stacking the Shelves #78

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It’s a chance to show what books you’ve added to your library in the past 7 days. These can be bought books, borrowed, review copies, any which way they come to you.

For Review

The Head of the Saint by Socorro Acioli
The Rise and Rise of Tabitha Baird by Arabella Weir (read)
The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard
Breakdown by Sarah Mussi
Thank you Hot Key Books

Snow Blind by Christopher Golden (read)
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
via bookbridgr, thank you Headline

Happy Hooves Oh! Oh! Oh! by Anna Bogie and Rebecca Elliot (read)
thank you Fat Fox Books

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The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig
Thank you HarperCollins

From StorytellersInc

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Goth Girl and the Fete Worse than Death (Goth Girl #2) by Chris Riddell
Singed Copy, Chris Riddell was at Storytellers on the 29th Sep. He’s brilliant.

And in support of #booksaremybag :D

How To Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick (read, it’s amazing!)
The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide
Mountwood School for Ghosts by Toby Ibbotson
The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky
Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders

Netgalley

A couple of months ago my kindle fried. The connecting port melted/fused, so while the device was ok there was no way to charge it. Bye bye eGalley’s. :(
I haven’t replaced my kindle but it does kinda very slowly charge. I was going to stay away from Netgalley but haven’t completely succeeded. Below are the books from the last 2 months, some of these I requested before it broke.

A Girl Called Malice by Aurelia B. Rowl (by Invitation)
A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
Unteachable by Leah Raeder
Soulprint by Megan Miranda
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
When by Victoria Laurie
Alistair Grim’s Odditorium by Gregory Funaro
The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

What books have you added lately?

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snowblindHow did I get the book? bookbridgr, thank you Headline

Genre: Horror

Synopsis: Twelve years ago the small town of Coventry, Massachusetts was in the grasp of a particularly brutal winter. And then came the great storm. It hit hard. Not everyone saw the spring. Today the families, friends and lovers of the victims are still haunted by the ghosts of those they lost so suddenly. If only they could see them one last time, hold them close, tell them they love them.

When a new storm strikes, it doesn’t just bring snow and ice, it brings the people of Coventry exactly what they’ve been wishing for. And the realisation their nightmare is only beginning.

200words (or less) review: In my quest for finding that spine-tingling horror read Snow Blind caught my eye. The premise sounded enticing and the beginning of the book certainly worked.

I’m going to say now that Snow Blind did not have me reaching for the covers to hide behind. It’s an intriguing and gripping read and yes I enjoyed myself but it’s not going to leave lingering nightmares. Maybe reading this book with the snow falling outside would unnerve you more…

With so many characters to follow it would be easy to get lost but I thought that Christopher Golden had a good balance between giving the reader enough to care about their fate without effecting the pacing of the book.

There are (what I call) cinematic scenes in the book. The ones you can picture vividly on the big screen with dramatic music. Having been a bit on a horror reading binge I’ve come across these a few times in the genre but they only really work when the writing pulls it off, Christopher Golden’s does.

Recommend it?

Yes

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9781908754684How did I get the book? Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Freight Books brings a new and definitive anthology of prose writing and poetry from Scotland’s leading and emerging LGBT writers. It includes a stellar list of contributors; Ali Smith, Louise Welsh, Kerry Hudson, Jackie Kay, Ronald Frame, Toni Davidson, Val McDermid, Damian Barr and UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy to name but a few.

Following Glasgow’s ‘Gay Games’ and the now famous Glasgow Kiss, this is the first anthology of its kind in over twelve years. Out There is the perfect barometer of just how far Scottish LGBT writing has come in that time. The writing is diverse, sometimes hilarious, sometimes polemical, often surprising and deeply moving, but always suffused with energy, wit and empathy.

200words (or less) review: This is definitely one of the more unique books I’ve read this year. I’m not a big short-story reader but when I was offered Out There I couldn’t resist.

As with most collections there will always be some stories that you enjoy more than others but Out There has such a variety and so many to choose from you will find yours. Probably more than just the one, I did.

These ones that stuck with me were;

  • I live Here Now by Nicola White
  • The Face at the Window, the Wave of the Hand by Louise Welsh
  • A Guid Cause by John Maley
  • Outing by Allan Radcliffe (think this might be my favourite)
  • Dog-Bait by Kirsty Logan
  • Generations by Roy Gill
  • The Quilt by David Downing
  • The Fine Art of Finding a Safe Place To Pee by Jo Clifford

Alongside the short stories there are also poems. I’ve never been a poetry fan so while I did read a few of them none stuck with me the way the stories did. Given the quality of the other contributions I’m sure they’re good I’m just not the person to comment.

Recommend it?

Yes

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Waiting on Wednesday #41

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine. “Waiting on Wednesday” spotlights upcoming releases that you can’t wait to read.

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The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell

“And these are they. My final moments. They say a warrior must always be mindful of death, but I never imagined that it would find me like this…”

Japanese teenager, Sora, is diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Lonely and isolated, Sora turns to the ancient wisdom of the samurai for guidance and comfort. But he also finds hope in the present; through the internet he finds friends that see him, not just his illness. This is a story of friendship and acceptance, and testing strength in an uncertain future.

I’m VERY lucky because I have already read this and let me tell you it’s wonderful. ♥♥♥
But I want to hold this book in my hands so I can hug it. It’s so pretty…

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isbn9781444766905-detailHow did I get the book? Received for review via bookbridgr, thank you Hodder

Genre: Dystopian

Previously reviewed: The 100

Synopsis: It’s been 21 days since The 100 landed on Earth. They’re the only humans to set foot on the planet in centuries… or so they thought. Facing an unknown enemy, Wells attempts to keep the group together. Clarke strikes out for Mount Weather, in search of other Colonists, while Bellamy is determined to rescue his sister, no matter the cost. And back on the ship, Glass faces an unthinkable choice between the love of her life and life itself.

200words (or less) review: I enjoyed the second book in the series more. With a clearer idea of what to expect the multiple POV’s, while still too many in my opinion, didn’t irritate me as much. Already knowing the characters helped, I think you’d struggle with Day 21 if you haven’t read The 100.

The story of what happens to those on earth was definitely more interesting for me. New characters are introduced, some mysteries are solved but mostly you get handed a trail of breadcrumbs to follow into the next part of the series. I wouldn’t mind that quite so much if so a large part of the book wasn’t spent on relationship drama. Between Wells, Clarke and Bellamy going back and forth and playing ‘I blame you now’ I was getting dizzy.

Day 21 has some intriguing moments and I do like the premise but there wasn’t as much development in the story as I hoped.

Recommend it?

Yes but I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the series.

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20929586How did I get the book? Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Genre: Dystopian / Apocalyptic

Previously reviewed:
Vivian Versus The Apocalypse

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple has just travelled across the country, fended off roving bands of indoctrinated teenagers, re-evaluated everything she ever thought was true, and uncovered the dark secrets about the recent so-called ‘Rapture’ and the Church of America. And now, she must rescue her maybe-boyfriend Peter from the Church before the world is (supposedly) due to end, which is in less than three months. It’s been a busy apocalypse so far.

Stranded in a city on the verge of complete panic, and faced with a society in an ever-increasing state of breakdown, Vivian and her friend Harp don’t even know where to begin looking for Pete. But then a tip leads them to Los Angeles, and the somewhat unlikely location of the Chateau Marmont Hotel. Vivian must save the day – or she’ll lose everything worth living for a second time…

200words (or less) review: Katie Coyle has delivered an absolutely brilliant sequel to what was a stand-out book in 2013. I’m always a bit worried about follow-ups but Vivian Versus America was one of the few I knew I’d be safe hands with and how right I was. *smug face*

I continue to remain a proud member of the Harp fan club. Didn’t think it was possible but I love this girl even more now. ♥ Can there we have t-shirt please? Harp rocks. I love that both Vivian and Harp are such strong positive female characters.

Vivian Versus America is darker then the first book, I won’t give away any more than then that. Vivian and Harp go through a lot. The Vivian from the first book is nothing like the girl you have in the second, but still Vivian grows so much from the beginning of Versus America to the end.

Can’t wait to see what Katie Coyle writes next.

Recommend it?

Absolutely

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